Silicon Valley’s Unchecked Arrogance

In its mind, Silicon Valley creates the future, while the rest of the world will soon become the “idle class.” What if they instead helped people build wealth for themselves?

By Ross Baird and Lenny Mendonca

Illustrations by Kyle Fewell

Last month, Y-Combinator, Silicon Valley’s blue-chip startup fund, announced a request for proposal to study a universal basic income. Sam Altman, the President of Y-Combinator, wrote in a separate essay that in the future, we will have a “smaller and smaller number of people creating more and more of the wealth. And we need a new solution for the people not creating most of the wealth — many of the minimum wage jobs are going to get innovated away anyway.”

The people without jobs will be an “idle class” — and the obvious conclusion, to Altman, “is that the government will just have to give these people money.” (Emphasis ours.)

And you wonder why political candidates on both sides are tapping into anti-elitist anger with great success.


Silicon Valley is, with good reason, the envy of the entrepreneurial world. Brilliant people have created transformative companies — and have earned a great living in the process. Facebook and Twitter have given people the ability to express themselves in authoritarian governments; the inventors of the mobile phones have brought information and services to billions; and Google makes the world’s information available to everyone.

But Silicon Valley’s view towards the rest of the world is often one of unchecked arrogance.

In the universal basic income proposal, the Y-Combinator team posits that Silicon Valley’s wonderful creations will create an incredible amount of wealth, but will put a lot of people out of work. Silicon Valley frequently worries, for example, that if self-driving cars are commercialized, truck and taxi drivers will be out of work. As such, a universal basic income will ensure that they’ll be happy and society will be successful. It’s a seductive idea, but they are asking the wrong questions.

The idea here is borne from an underlying assumption that capitalism has winners and losers, and the victors have a responsibility to take care of the rest. Instead, we’d posit that many of the “winners” in Silicon Valley are part of a faux meritocracy — being born into the right city or social network.

Silicon Valley seems to be worried that the rest of the world won’t find its way. A recent podcast from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz described how a few “Alpha Cities” are going to drive the future, while other metropolises will struggle to find their meaning. When India didn’t go for a Silicon Valley-led internet proposal, Marc Andreessen gained global denunciation (including from Silicon Valley CEOs such as Mark Zuckerberg) for a tweet that said, “Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?” And Y-Combinator themselves say that for startups to be successful, they have to move to Silicon Valley. “We would not be doing a startup a favor by not making them move,” their website reads.

So Silicon Valley, in its own mind, creates the future, while the rest of the world (by virtue of zip code or differing world view) should follow suit or risk being left behind.

One could take this to its logical (and cynical) conclusion and say that the rest of the world will eventually be out of work and become a burden on the enlightened few. They’ll storm the gates of Silicon Valley’s kingdom, and the resulting social unrest will be an unfortunate distraction to the wonders of artificial intelligence, research into extending life past the age of 120, and other great wonders of modern technology.

The universal basic income will keep “these people” at bay.

YCombinator and their Silicon Valley counterparts often talk about the value of geography. The best ideas, we are led to believe, come from a small stretch of earth close to San Francisco.

James Fallows in a recent Atlantic essay describes how most of America’s elite believe in “The Big Sort” — that to be successful, one must be sorted into a few metro areas: San Francisco, New York, Boston, perhaps Seattle or Washington D.C. When it comes to people investing in new ideas, this is absolutely true. 78% of investment in startups goes to three states (New York, Massachusetts, California). While in the past 20 years startup investing has increased 300% in those states, it has actually declined in the other 47 across the country.

Silicon Valley has become a “monocrop” culture where entrepreneurs are well-educated, have frictionless access to capital, and have their basic needs taken care of. The majority of resources today are going to entrepreneurs whose lived experience is in well-off, well-connected cities.

Successful startups are born at places like Y-Combinator and go through the venture capital gauntlet frictionlessly — the same way big factory farms across America churn out cheap corn and beef.

Yet there is a problem with monocrop culture: ultimately, you deplete the soil. In a recent podcast with Kleiner Perkins partner Randy Komisar and legendary Silicon Valley “coach” Bill Campbell — mentor to Steve Jobs and Larry Page — Randy asked whether, over time, entrepreneurs were solving increasingly frivolous problems. Campbell responded, tellingly, that entrepreneurs solve problems that they can understand.

“While you and I might think Snapchat is frivolous,” Campbell said, “my grandchildren find it a great solution for how better to communicate with their friends.”

Snapchat may be solving an important problem for well-connected young people in America who don’t have to worry about basic needs. But whether it’s unemployed young people in St. Louis looking for their next paycheck or a family in Flint, Michigan worried about clean water, many Americans have more immediate problems.

But the entrepreneurs there — “those people” —often don’t have access to resources or opportunities to solve their problems. And Silicon Valley can’t foresee a future where St. Louis or Flint could create the jobs of the future.

Because most of today’s entrepreneurs have their basic needs taken care of, their problem-solving often seems frivolous to the rest of the country.

Take Uber, for example. Uber’s great at solving how people with smartphones and disposable income can get around major cities — a small fraction of the global population. Uber is less good at helping the drivers, whose income is much lower than the riders, benefit from this new paradigm. Uber has hailed their impact as letting people work flexibly and use assets more productively, but strategically is investing hugely in driverless cars.

And we don’t blame Travis Kalanick (actually we do, but that’s not the point of this story). Uber’s founders’ experiences are as riders, not drivers. But imagine an ownership structure in which, for example, drivers could earn fractional equity in the company for each ride they gave. What if a percentage of the $50B valuation were shared among the drivers, based on a merit-based system?

We’re not saying that Uber should do this (they can’t at this stage); we are saying that if Uber’s leadership had different lived experiences, the company might look different.

The universal basic income (UBI) is not a new idea. Richard Nixon originally proposed it in the early 1970s. Manitoba, Canada and Uganda have tried it, as have European countries like the Netherlands and Sweden, and political parties in India and Brazil. Andy Stern has a book coming out shortly about how to make it work in the United States. Done well, it could smooth volatility and provide some base stability for those who need it most, and even encourage risk-taking and help better deploy outdated, government-run welfare approaches.

And Y-Combinator’s thesis isn’t misguided. There is definitely a conversation worth having about what happens to society after software has eaten the world. But the conclusion — that the automation of these jobs will create a lot of wealth for a few people (of course the brilliant ones in Silicon Valley) but leave most out of work (the rest of us) — is reflective of Silicon Valley’s arrogance.

It seems like noblesse oblige for Silicon Valley to throw coins at the 90% of the population that will no longer have a job, thanks to their inventions. But the reality is most people don’t want just a universal basic income.

We need to figure out how to make the system work for everyone in the face of technological changes. We need policymakers to incentivize regional and industry diversity in our innovation, and entrepreneurs to focus on the larger, thornier questions related to building businesses that share the wealth better among those who create them — not design a system to spread the crumbs a little better.

How do we change ownership structures to prevent Snapchat, Instagram, and Whatsapp from distributing billion-dollar windfalls among only a couple dozen people? How can we enable great people, regardless of zip code, to solve messy societal problems? To us, these feel like much more constructive approaches than calculating the minimum income required to eliminate “the fear of not being able to eat.”

So there’s the problem. How do we change this? We have some ideas, but would love to hear from you as well. And you can contribute to the conversation on social media with #ReinventVC!

The Development Set is made possible by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We retain editorial independence.

Next Story — The Fundraising Song and Dance
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The Fundraising Song and Dance

“From my first-hand research, there are three dance styles that seem to attract funders, particularly in the social impact space.”

I have spent a fair bit of my working life trying to convince people to give me money to “do good.” I have raised funds in the non-profit foundation world, the social enterprise impact capital world, and the for-profit venture capital world.

Fundraising is often referred to as a “song and dance.” It’s an exhibition, much like the mating dance of those iconic Birds of Paradise in Planet Earth.

Just as the male Bird of Paradise hops and fans his tail towards what he hopes is a future Mrs. Bird of Paradise, we in the human world engage in similar rhythmic rituals.

From my first-hand research, there are three dance styles that seem to attract funders, particularly in the social impact space: the Sustainability Shuffle, the Impact Pop & Lock, and the Innovation Turf.

Each one is a different type of pitch, each a different attempt at going into the middle of the dance circle and showing off your moves to see if the audience scowls or gives you a round of applause. Funders all have different tastes. Some prefer the dedicated and deliberate Shuffle. Others look for the well-rehearsed, meticulous perfection of the Pop & Lock. And a special few want to be totally wowed with something they have never seen before: the Turf.

The Sustainability Shuffle

The Sustainability Shuffle requires matching the swagger of a for-profit with a dash of save-the-world bravado. This pitch requires mirroring the VC world, pointing your dancing shoes at indicators like market size, cost of customer acquisition, and most importantly, revenue traction.

The dance starts with defining the problem, and then growing the speed and size of your movements as you hit the apex of your pitch by dropping the potential market size of change and your traction to date. These funders often have made their money in the tech sector, having been All Star shufflers themselves, and have now moved into the non-profit/social enterprise space. They believe that doing good can be married with doing well, and they want to see you combine the two in your dance.

For this pitch, the most important thing is having that swagger that comes with saying, “We will make money.”

These funders believe your business does not require grant funding long-term to stay alive; you are dancing to prove that eventually you can be self-sustaining. Show that soon enough you won’t be shuffling for funding, you’ll be hustling for clients.

The Impact Pop & Lock

The Impact Pop & Lock is a variant of the Sustainability Shuffle, but instead of showing off your revenue-generating footwork, you are dancing to your impact metrics. Because impact metrics are much more ethereal than revenue, this dance style is harder to judge, and therefore the funders require tight precision in your delivery. Hence the sharp, deliberate movements of the pop & lock; if you do it poorly or half-heartedly, you’ll look like the middle-school dance version of yourself you have been trying to forget all these years.

When dancing the Impact Pop & Lock you can choose your choreography, popping and locking any part of your body you care to, and moving in any direction. Similarly, your impact metrics can measure whatever output your organizations totes, be it lives saved, students graduated, or disease cases reduced.

However, your math has to be perfect, and the funders better not be able to find any holes in your logic, or any externalities that you did not account for.

If you can bring a third party to prove your impact, like a randomized control trial (RCT), you are rocking. Having a RCT is sort of like delivering your dance as a flash mob. It says, “There is a whole crowd of people dancing to this in synchronicity — this can’t be a mistake.”

The Innovation Turf

The Innovation Turf is something so cool, so shiny, and so new, that no one has ever seen it before. This is freestyle, especially when compared to the tightly choreographed performances above. If you haven’t seen someone turf, Google “turfing dance” (for a great example, watch this Turf Feinz video). It’s new, it’s sexy. There is no guarantee of impact, no guarantee of sustainability, but darn it, it’s so sexy, it could end up on the TED stage.

And for this dance, that is what you need to be thinking. What is my big audacious insight that could be curated and put on the big stage? What will wow them?

Some funders don’t like this; they are risk-averse, and want to make sure their money is going towards something proven. Don’t bother dancing for them. Instead dance for those funders who get excited when hearing something new, who are out there looking for the next big thing.

The Innovation Turf needs to tell a great story. The funders want to be part of a story they have never heard before. You need to tell that story with your movements, taking the funder through the arc, and pulling them onto your stage so they become part of the dance too. Because there is no impact, no revenue, just the idea, the story is what you are selling — the assured destiny and the amazing awesomeness of your story. Your movements need to demonstrate your ability to glide across the dance floor like it was ice, moving effortlessly, hiding muscle contortions so it seems like you’re sure to succeed, no matter how crazy this might be.

When you start out, you will inevitably need to learn the Innovation Turf. But eventually, your first product/idea/organization will no longer be innovative, and you will have to fundraise without a flashy new idea. You’ll need to dedicate time to learning how to do the Sustainability Shuffle or Impact Pop & Lock. You can dabble in both, but you can probably only master one of them. And they take a few years to perfect. You’ll need to get that RCT started early, or you will need to put in place a business development team to get your revenue growing.

At the end of the day, just as with any dance, from the polka to the ballet, from the VC world to foundations, technique is important, knowing your audience is important, and practice is important. But just as with dancing, nothing can substitute pure confidence.

The Development Set is made possible by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We retain editorial independence.

Next Story — The End of Big Philanthropy
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The End of Big Philanthropy

Old-guard philanthropic institutions are eager to tell rich kids how to spend their money. They should be looking in the mirror instead.

amfAR’s 21st Cinema Against AIDS Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 22, 2014 in Cap d’Antibes, France (Andreas Rentz/360/Getty Images)

A friend of mine was recently given direction on how best to secure grant money from a foundation:

“If you ask for funding, they give you advice. If you ask for advice, they give you funding.”

It’s funny because it’s kinda true. It also connotes an (unintentional) arrogance with how traditional grant-makers develop and execute their strategies. They take a foundation-centered approach — “let’s fund what we care about” — rather than a problem-centered approach — “let’s do what it takes to solve big challenges.” This may appear to be a subtle difference, but it’s significant.

A foundation-centered approach to social change is born out of very specific incentives and constraints. It’s necessarily wedded to particular financial instruments, like charitable grants, geared to get money out the door (each has a five percent minimum payout requirement). Program officers focus on making their individual grants successful instead of, as Darren Walker wisely suggests, overall organizations and movements. Short-term incentives dominate, leading to equally near-sighted strategies and outcomes.

Heads up to traditional philanthropic folks: the market is headed towards taking a problem-centered approach to solving the world’s biggest challenges. And this new world is filled with motivated people doing whatever it takes to solve them.

These problem-centered outfits are wide-ranging in their shape and size. They invest in for-profits, non-profits, and spin up their own ground-breaking initiatives. They are shirking tax benefits in favor of flexibility, and it’s setting a new stage for how big challenges are identified and tackled in our world today.

Solutions to big social ills like financial inclusion and homelessness know no prescriptive financial instrument, no tax status, and no IRS reporting requirements (though I do believe transparency to be a good thing).

There are dozens of ways people are trying to “do good” outside the world of Big Philanthropy. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan created an LLC structure for their philanthropic activities — and were both lauded and lambasted for it. (Others have gone down the LLC path long before, notably Laurene Powell Jobs and her Emerson Collective.) Meanwhile, venture capitalists like Obvious Ventures, Village Capital, and Unitus Impact are moving the nebulous field of impact investing forward. Rob Solomon’s GoFundMe and GiveDirectly have demonstrated that just directly giving people money can often lead to better outcomes than overly-managed development projects. Acumen’s Jacqueline Novogratz approach to investing “where markets have failed and aid has fallen short” has set new standards.

And of course you have “hacker philanthropists” like Sean Parker attempting to upend the tired tropes of giving, even if in name and perception only (Mr. Parker believes his approach to be innovative, when in fact it’s quite traditional).

It’s worth noting that the majority of these organizations are less than five years old. All of them were founded post-2000. None of them, save the last two, hold 501(c)3 status.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to receive the Axel Springer Award with his wife Priscilla Chan in Berlin on February 25, 2016. (Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images)

Instead of looking inwards in reflection, many foundations are attempting to steer how this new breed of philanthropists and investors go about their business. I know this anecdotally. Three major foundations have approached me about constructing a dialogue on Medium for this young class of Silicon Valley rich kids and how they should spend their philanthropic dollars.

This reeks of hubris. It’s dangerous. And it distracts from the real issue: foundations are caught in a time loop, attempting to uphold the influence of their namesakes, based on preservation of an existing system in the name of disrupting others.

Instead, these older institutions might first consider changing themselves — their culture, investments, organization structure, and possibly even their entire raison d’être. Instead of advising the youngins on the do’s and don’ts of do-gooding, they might — dare I say — learn a thing or two from them. If done well, they stand much to gain, as do the very people they are aiming to serve.

A few words of advice on how to begin that journey, from someone who doesn’t know any better:

Diversify Your Ranks.

Our world, and the challenges we face, are more interconnected than ever. These are best tackled with people of diverse backgrounds and skill sets. Instead of amassing seas of specialized talent, use your size to your advantage by convening an interdisciplinary mix within your ranks. Or hire agencies to help. You are uniquely positioned to do this.

Convene Strange Bedfellows.

Leadership here now requires divergent thinking and inclusive dialogue with players across private, public and social sectors. If you’re the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, consider working not only with The First Lady and local non-profits but with the likes of Rock Health, Fitbit, Obvious Ventures, and McDonald's. The results of these gatherings, and dare I say collaborations, could yield compelling and unexpected results that might not be otherwise borne from echo chambers of old.

Get Nimble.

We all know how challenging the grant process has been historically (I’ve personally been both grant-maker and grant recipient; it’s terribly painful on both sides). You can make it easier to attract new types of grantees without sacrificing rigor. Adopt new mindsets and modes of operation that positively change the flexibility with which you award grants. The Knight Foundation Prototype Fund, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Innovator Awards, and the Michelson Prize & Grants are all great examples.

Humble Yourselves.

Challenge your carefully crafted theories of change (and the problems associated with them) by enabling your grantees to look at underlying assumptions with fresh eyes. Or revisit them yourselves, in partnership with grantees and the constituents you’re looking to serve. (Check out what Nadia Roumani, the Stanford d.school and Stanford PACS pulled together here.)

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Acumen attends the Women A.R.E. salon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on March 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Araya Diaz/WireImage)

The new guard — young tech philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors — have grown up in a time of radical transparency, lean business methodologies, and positive social change embedded in their everyday philosophies and actions. The idea of top-down, RFP-driven projects and silo-ed philanthropy simply don’t make sense to them.

Some program officers are keenly aware and thoughtfully reflecting on these very issues (check out this perspective from David Sasaki), and many of the examples above should prove as hope that the big ships can steer themselves away from the precipice of irrelevance.

Ultimately though, these questions should fall at the doorstep of foundation CEOs and boards. My question to them is: what are you going to do about it?

The Development Set is made possible by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We retain editorial independence.

Next Story — The Management Set
Currently Reading - The Management Set

The Management Set

They’re young, smart, and wizards at Power Point. But do they have what it takes to address thorny global development issues?

Photographs by Grant Cornett

Global development is no longer the domain of public health experts, policy wonks, and lifelong do-gooders. It no longer prizes decades of peacekeeping experience or fluency in a nearly extinct Mayan language. That’s because “the management sethas emerged.

Forty years ago, humanitarian Ross Coggins charted the existence of “the development set” (leading to the tongue-in-cheek name of this publication). They discuss malnutrition over steaks / And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks, among other stereotypes. This group can now be expanded to include former managers, investment bankers, and consultants, who for the last decade have been flooding the ranks of large nonprofits and foundations.

The management set is similarly “bright and noble.” They come armed with Ivy League MBAs, freshly-pressed shirts, and a loose familiarity of issues like childhood malnutrition and sanitation systems. And they are fundamentally changing the way global development happens.


The Clinton Foundation, where I worked from 2007 to 2009, has been called the “Peace Corps for McKinsey,” referring to the management consulting firm. Nothing was more likely to get you through the applicant pool than the McKinsey stamp of approval.

Most of my colleagues were young, book smart, and wizards at Power Point. Equipped with terms like “volume-based discount” and “cost-plus pricing,” my team worked to make HIV/AIDS medicines more accessible to patients in the developing world.

This new breed of development worker is influencing global development in profound and unexpected ways. The management set is largely responsible for the growth of strategic philanthropy, an evidence-based approach to grant making. It’s the reason big data has become so popular. To an extent, it’s why technology-led solutions like mobile learning and crisis mapping have taken off.

In some organizations, even interviewing has changed. In my first interview at Clinton Foundation, for example, I was asked, “How many cars are there in the United States?” The question was cherry-picked from a traditional consulting case interview — and though it tested my ability to tackle abstract problems, it revealed nothing about my understanding of HIV/AIDS treatment or under-resourced health systems. In my second interview, I had to build an Excel model.

To be fair, business and economic principles are an important part of global development. I actually did have to build Excel models on the job. But more classic development skills — diplomacy, familiarity with local cultures, experience navigating foreign bureaucracies — almost become an afterthought.

What are the implications of this trend? To what extent can approaches tailor-made for the private sector be applied to social ills like poverty, disease, environmental degradation, and illiteracy? What can nonprofits gain by making way for the management set — and what do they lose?

Business people working in nonprofits is nothing new. What is relatively new is the intensity with which they are being recruited and hired. Tighter donor purse strings during the 2008 recession — and the fact that many donors themselves made their fortunes in the private sector — led to an intense emphasis on efficiency and results. Some of the biggest players in international development, from the Gates Foundation to Habitat for Humanity, began to flood their ranks with MBAs and their boards with CEOs. (Disclaimer: The Gates Foundation funds this publication. We retain editorial independence.)

But it doesn’t always work out well. Luis Ubiñas was president of the Ford Foundation from 2008 to 2013, taking the helm at the start of the economic downturn. He had little nonprofit experience, a Harvard MBA, and nearly two decades of experience as a media consultant at — surprise! — McKinsey. Ford was facing a shrinking endowment and Ubiñas was brought on to help weather the storm. He promoted a “results-oriented culture” and took a relentlessly data driven approach to allocating resources, slashing programs and cutting staff.

Alas, it left the organization demoralized and tired, and several longtime employees left during his tenure.

Achieving social justice is not the same as overseeing a merger. For one thing, time horizons in the private sector tend to be shorter. It’s all about quick returns and immediate results. But the “get ’er done” mindset doesn’t always work in a sector in which results often come by the decade, not the quarter.

Social progress is a long, tough slog. Governments and multilateral institutions manage a staggering number of priorities, one of which may or may not be yours. That can be frustrating for people who are used to driving projects forward — and it can create tension with the people on the receiving end of that frustration.

There’s no doubt that the management set has encouraged a more efficient and accountable era in philanthropy. In some cases, it has helped catalyze large-scale change.

For example, in the 1990s, increasing access to HIV/AIDS treatment meant lobbying pharmaceutical companies for price reductions or outright donations. At the time, 8,500 people were becoming newly infected with the virus every day. A model that relied on corporate largesse and the sweat of AIDS activists could only achieve so much. In the early 2000s, some smart business minds analyzed the market for antiretroviral drugs and saw the opportunity to drastically lower prices, using basic economic principles of supply and demand.

Millions of people are alive in part because of this shift in thinking. And the nonprofit sector needs people with a broad range of skills, including business acumen.

Indeed, more and more MBAs have been willing to forego private sector salaries to do social impact work. Net Impact, a nonprofit network of business students and professionals working for social and environmental change, found that 83 percent of MBA students are willing to take a 15 percent pay cut to do work that makes a social or environmental difference. It’s now the norm for business schools to require students to take courses on social impact, something that wasn’t true just five years ago. The nonprofit sector is taking advantage of these trends and seeking out bright business minds, in part to counter perceptions of being inefficient, wasteful, and bureaucratic.

But I’d argue that it is seriously overcompensating.

There is something intuitively wrong when development experience is less coveted than private sector experience — for a development job. Years after my stint at Clinton, I was speaking with a Gates Foundation recruiter about an opportunity in their global health program. By then, I had a range of development experience under my belt and a Master’s degree in international affairs. My resume was short on space, and since my foray in the private sector seemed dated and less relevant, I removed it. When I told the recruiter about it in passing, she noticeably perked up — and then advised me to add it back to my resume.

Apparently, my most noteworthy experience wasn’t my work on HIV/AIDs, maternal health, or childhood pneumonia — but my stint as a business planner at a high-end makeup company.


There are some signs that this trend might be changing. In 2013, after a run of CEOs plucked from Microsoft, the Gates Foundation hired Sue Desmond-Hellmann, a cancer doctor and public health expert. She has said that she wants to focus on values, not processes, and to institute a culture that trusts employees to make the right choices.

The Ford Foundation has also pulled back from its highly structured, data-driven approach. Its current president, Darren Walker, has emphasized consultation with grantees and program managers over rigorous quantitative analysis. “Social change does not follow an algorithm,” he said. “It is messy. It comes in fits and starts, through feats and defeats. It unfolds in different patterns, at different paces, in different places. And because change in complex systems is unpredictable — no matter how well-intentioned and well-reasoned the model behind it — the time has come for us to set aside our adherence to a prescriptive theology that constrains how philanthropy approaches solving complex challenges.”

Translation: enough with the process maps. Development, at the end of the day, is a deeply human endeavor. Relationships are what drive impact. Boardroom sensibilities don’t always serve the interests of the rural farm worker or the child with malaria.

Happily, Walker is also trying to make Ford’s corporate culture more fun. The nonprofit sector could definitely use more of that, and maybe fewer spreadsheets.

The Development Set is made possible by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We retain editorial independence. // The Creative Commons license applies only to the text of this article. All rights are reserved in the images. If you’d like to reproduce the text for noncommercial purposes, please contact us.

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